An American Editor

September 8, 2017

On Politics: A Great Song Made Greater

One of the classics in pop music is Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence.” A future classic in the satire hall of fame political collection is this lyric-updated, politically astute version of that classic (here’s the link in case it disappears again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxCjvEabN70):

Some of you might prefer the original untainted, nonsatirical, but not nonpolitical version by Simon and Garfunkel, so here it is:

Additional parodies worth viewing include these:

Perhaps this is the best thing, so far, about the Trump presidency: a never ending resource for comedy.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

September 4, 2017

The Lesson of Bohemian Rhapsody

Sometimes an editor can learn a lesson from another discipline. Here are different performances of the same song (except for the Colbert parody). It reminds me of the differences between editors — some are competent, some are incompetent; some are professional, some are unprofessional; some are ethical, some are unethical; some are good, some are great.

But most importantly, it illustrates an important lesson that too many editors have either forgotten or failed to absorb: Often the original is best.

First up are the Muppets:

Pentatonix does an excellent job, and certainly one that is praiseworthy, but is it really an improvement — in contrast to simply being different — of the original?

These children also do a fine job performing on the Colombia version of The Voice, but is this an improvement over the original?

In this tribute performance to Freddie Mercury, who had died, Elton John, the remaining members of Queen, and Axl Rose perform Bohemian Rhapsody. Although it is clear that the performance is professional, I don’t think it rises to the same level as the original. Modifications were needed to accommodate the voices of the singers, thereby, I think, providing a good, but not great, performance.

Finally, before we get to the original, here are two parodies based on Bohemian Rhapsody. The first is Stephen Colbert:

The second is a Star Wars parody:

At long last, here is the standard against which all other versions are judged — the original Queen version as written and performed by Freddie Mercury:

Although all the versions of Bohemian Rhapsody have their merits (and demerits), in the final analysis the original Queen version rises to the top. This illustrates that sometimes the original is best, a lesson a lot of editors need to learn. Probably the single, most often made complaint by authors against editors is that the editor changed what didn’t need to be changed, that the editor made it worse.

Every editor needs to remember that change for change’s sake (or because the editor thinks he/she can say it better) is not the best approach to editing.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

August 25, 2017

Charlottesville: Truth, Trump, & Alternative Facts

Will Charlottesville be Donald Trump’s Donnybrook? Only time will tell, but the following VICE News mini-documentary on Charlottesville certainly makes it seem so. (The documentary runs approximately 20 minutes but I encourage you to watch it in its entirety.) What I have trouble understanding is how easily and readily some people will ignore truth because the facts support a point of view that is counter to what they wish was true.

Watching the above documentary reminded me of the 1960s and early 1970s — Selma, Alabama; Kent State; Los Angeles and Detroit; and myriad other “incidents”.

Returning to the topic at hand, the following The Daily Show segment regarding Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Phoenix following his three Charlottesville addresses to America illustrate how divorced some people’s view of events is from truth.

Editors are supposed to be factually centered when editing. I wonder whether that will be the standard in coming years or will the adoption of alternate facts “trickle” down to editing? Will we have a new phenomena called “alt-editing”?

For a more humorous view of Trump’s flip-flop-flip view of Charlottesville, I give you Stephen Colbert:

What do you think about Charlottesville and Donald Trump’s responses to what happened? Will Trump successfully sideline facts and truth?

Richard Adin, An American Editor

 


 

A Humor Bonus!

As serious as the Charlottesville incident is for America and America’s future, we still should not lose our sense of humor. To that end, I offer the following Saturday Night Live reenactment of Trump’s Phoenix rally.

 

May 29, 2017

It’s a Holiday & We’re On Vacation

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,A Video Interlude — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
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Today is Memorial Day and the beginning of another vacation (meaning a week away from work) for An American Editor. AAE will return next week. Here are some videos to help pass the time —

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

 

March 29, 2017

Circus 1903

Filed under: A Video Interlude — americaneditor @ 6:21 am
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This video is short but well worth watching. It makes a nice break from the editing day.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

March 13, 2017

Worth Watching: Great Song, Great Message, Great Rendition

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,A Video Interlude — americaneditor @ 3:22 am
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Occasionally I come across a video that is worth sharing and this rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” by Pentatonix is one. Take a moment, sit back, and enjoy. The message of the song and of the signs the singers display later in the video are, in my view, well worth noting and sharing, especially in these uncertain times.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

December 19, 2016

Happy Holidays 2016

Filed under: A Musical Interlude,A Video Interlude,Uncategorized — americaneditor @ 4:00 am
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It’s that time of year and An American Editor is taking a break. We will return on Monday, January 9, 2017 (possibly sooner). We hope you enjoy these holiday videos and that 2017 gives life to all of your hopes and dreams. Have a happy holiday season and a happy new year.

Let there be joy in the world —

What would be a holiday without sugar plum fairies…

…and Hallelujah?

Best wishes for a happy new year from all of us
at An American Editor to all of you!

Happy Holidays!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving – 2016

An American Editor is taking a break for the American Thanksgiving holiday. Although this year has had its ups and downs, it is still worth celebrating and Thanksgiving is the day to do so.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! We will be back on November 28. Here are some videos to brighten your holiday, beginning with taste testing by the true food critics:

 

In case of politics at the table, here is a solution:

and some more political Thanksgiving humor from Saturday Night Live:

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

Richard Adin, An American Editor

May 30, 2016

Sita Sings the Blues on Copyright

 

About 7 years ago, I stumbled on a great music video, Sita Sings the Blues. If you haven’t seen/heard the video, I urge you to do so. It is available free online or for download from Nina Paley’s website. She is its creator.

Regardless of whether you view the movie, you should listen to Nina Paley’s TED talk “Copyright is Brain Damage.” It is a different perspective on copyright by an artist whose work is copyrightable.

Do you agree with Ms. Paley? If yes, why; if no, why not.

Thanks to The Digital Reader for bringing Ms. Paley’s TED talk to my attention.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

May 1, 2016

Mark Your Calendar: June 10, 2016

Filed under: A Video Interlude,Uncategorized,Worth Noting — americaneditor @ 10:09 am
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Why is June 10, 2016 worth marking on your calendar? Because on that day the movie Genius is released — and every editor, author, and publisher should see it (hopefully, it will be worth seeing :)).

Here is the movie’s description from the Sunday New York Times (June 10, 2016, Arts & Leisure Summer Movies, p. 36):

Yes, New Yorkers, there was a time (the 1920s and ’30s) when a book editor could be a superstar. His name was Maxwell Perkins, and everyone called him Max.…[T]his period drama [stars] Colin Firth as Perkins, Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe, Guy Pearce as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dominic West as Ernest Hemingway and even a couple of women — Nicole Kidman as Wolfe’s love interest and Laura Linney as Perkins’s wife.

For those unfamiliar with Maxwell Perkins, he is considered to be the greatest modern American editor and is noted for having edited and babysat some of American literature’s greatest 20th century authors. Max Perkins was the role model for hundreds of editors up through the 1970s.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

I am looking forward to seeing this movie. It stars some of my favorite actors and is certainly a subject I can relate to. Perhaps the editorial profession will gain a tiny bit of stature from this release.

Richard Adin, An American Editor

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